About the Ride
The 2010 Old Selam Endurance ride will be held Labor Day Weekend, September 4th and 5th, near Centerville, Idaho.
The Old Selam Endurance ride has been put on for more consecutive years than any other endurance ride in Idaho. The Old Selam ride is named after a horse used in two different escapes from the Old Idaho State Penitentiary on Warm Springs Avenue in Boise. Selam was reported to be one of the best horses in Idaho and had been used for both riding and driving.
On December 24th, 1901, "Bob" Meeks, a member of the Butch Cassidy gang, was working around the hog pens in the prison complex when he unhitched Selam, then an old horse, from the wagon and took off. Meeks and Selam headed north into the hills. Trackers found where he had stopped to cut the harness from the horse. Tracks showed that Meeks had gotten off Selam and walked alongside him as they climbed the steep hillsides. Meeks was re-captured on Christmas Day, and both he and Selam were returned to the prison.
A second prisoner, Sam Bruner, escaped on December 30, 1901. The lights in the prison began to dim that morning. Investigation showed that trusted prisoner Sam Bruner was not at his duty station in the power plant A check of the prison revealed that Old Selam, as well as a saddle and bridle, were missing. The sheriff’s posse never caught Sam or Selam, who together made a successful escape from the penitentiary—a rare occurrence.
Since 1976, the Southwest Idaho Trail and Distance Riders have attempted to re-trace the trails used by Old Selam in his two escape attempts. The first Old Selam endurance ride was managed by Byron Meredith. The 1976 ride was held in mid-October inside the old prison complex. Camp was in the area next to the old barns. Riders had an opportunity to tour the prison, and the pre-ride briefing was held inside the historic (and recently re-located but not quite refurbished) Bishop's house. In later years, camp moved to Rocky Canyon Road, and the trail went just above the prison. From 1986 through 1991, the endurance ride camp moved back to the site of the Old Penitentiary. In 1991, endurance riders followed Old Selam’s trails in the moonlight. In 1992, the ride camp moved to the Douglas Ranch near Eagle due to private land owners on the Boise Front closing their land to equestrian use. In 1993, ride camp moved farther away from the prison to a clearing near the confluence of Grimes and Clear Creek on the backside of the Boise Front. Since 1996, the ride has been held at Henry Creek, near New Centerville. Whether Old Selam and Bruner came this way in their escape attempt is anyone’s guess.
Do You Want to Attend?
Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than end of day on Wednesday, September 1 letting us know why you deserve the entry.
We hope to see you there!
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